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A framework for the dissemination and utilization of research for health-care policy and practice.

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McMaster University School of Nursing, 1200 Main Street West, 3H46D, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8N 3Z5.



The purpose of this paper is to construct a comprehensive framework of research dissemination and utilization that is useful for both health policy and clinical decision-making.


The framework illustrates that the process of the adoption of research evidence into health-care decision-making is influenced by a variety of characteristics related to the individual, organization, environment and innovation. The framework also demonstrates the complex inter-relationships among these characteristics as progression through the five stages of innovation namely, knowledge, persuasion, decision, implementation and confirmation occurs. Finally, the framework integrates the concepts of research dissemination, evidence-based decision-making and research utilization within the diffusion of innovations theory.


During the discussion of each stage of the innovation adoption process, relevant literature from the management field (i.e., diffusion of innovations, organizational management and decision-making) and health-care sector (i.e., research dissemination and utilization and evidence-based practice) is summarized. Studies providing empirical data contributing to the development of the framework were assessed for methodological quality.


The process of research dissemination and utilization is complex and determined by numerous intervening variables related to the innovation (research evidence), organization, environment and individual.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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